A group of physicists from Germany, France, and Russia have published a breakthrough in the journal Physical Chemistry, Physical Physics detailing how cleaner fuel cells could be produced.
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The research was conducted by MIPT’s Laboratory of Functional Organic and Hybrid Materials, the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Moscow State University, Institut de Sciences des Matériaux de Mulhouse, and DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials of RWTH Aachen University.
Using amphiphilic compounds, the researchers created ion-exchange membranes that are synthetic, and which are able to convert energy generated via chemical reactions into electrical current. The new technique developed would be applied to separating and purifying fuel cells during production to make for cleaner energy.
Fuel cells have two minimum benefits over other types when used for a traditional internal combustion engine: the process of releasing energy and igniting electrical current occurs at a much lower temperature without harmful emission risks as can be observed with nitrogen oxides; and fuel cells provide a higher level of efficiency than others.
Thermodynamic laws limit the efficiency of petrol and diesel generators, but this is never the case with fuel cells.
Moreover, considering the global problem of global warming and climate change and how this has been linked to fossil fuel such as coal, gas, and oil, the use of fuel cells is part of the solution to combat climate change and the concentration of carbon monoxide that fossil fuel releases into the atmosphere – a gaseous problem that traps heat.
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Fuel cells and electric motors and electric accumulators are part of the solution to climate change where burning organic fuels is concerned, and this underscores the importance of fuel cells for our future combustion engines and for a cleaner environment.